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Whether it’s Parkinson’s disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the nursing goals for all clients are the same – to maintain healthy well-being. The pathophysiology will not matter for as long as the client’s healthy lifestyle is adequately addressed because the issues will not be reversed.
The chief nursing goals when taking care of clients with neurological issues are the following:
- Maximizing motor function
- Maintaining activities of daily living (ADL)
- Prevent depression
- Maintain airway, breathing, and circulation (ABC)
Let’s discuss each goal below.
One of the primary goals for clients suffering from neurological disorders is maximizing their motor function. Since neurology problems are favorite NCLEX® topics, here’s a scenario:
When dealing with Parkinson’s disease, myasthenia gravis, or multiple sclerosis clients, as a nurse, should you help them with their ADLs, or would you give them assistive devices so they can help themselves and become more independent?
Since the priority nursing goal is to maximize motor function, the best possible answer is to allow the clients to be as independent as possible. Nurses should try not to do everything for the clients especially if they are living inside a home care facility. However, if they are completely unable to perform the task, assisting them is fine.
Activities of Daily Living
As mentioned, it is essential that clients who have neurological dysfunctions practice their full potential with their ADLs. Whether it’s getting dressed, combing their hair, tying their shoelaces, or brushing their teeth, nurses should allow their clients to do all these activities with less or no intervention whatsoever; unless the clients are totally incapable of doing so.
Because the conditions are irreversible, the psychosocial aspect must be taken into great consideration because clients tend to fall into depression knowing that their situation is not going to get any better. Furthermore, due to their diminished motor functions, clients are bound to think that they are useless, which increases their depressive mood. For this reason, it is essential that clients are given independence when it comes to their ADLs and activities that can improve their social skills.
Airway, Breathing, and Circulation
Lastly, and the most important goal, is making sure that the client’s airway, breathing, and circulation are not compromised. When developing a care plan, the nurse in charge should prioritize the ABCs. Difficulty swallowing can lead to choking and can block airway; therefore, ventilation must be on standby.
As a summary, the nursing goals with clients who have neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis should primarily focus on their independence and motor functions, but most importantly, their ABCs and psychosocial status.
Effective nurses must not only focus on their clients’ pathophysiology and diagnosis but their overall well-being as well especially when taking care of clients with neurological issues.
For our next topic, we’ll be focusing on the four conditions mentioned here, their pathophysiology, causes, and treatments. And for more useful nursing-related lectures and videos, check out our Simple Nursing website and YouTube channel.